Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Civil War 150th Anniversary: Will History Repeat Itself?

Couple housekeeping notes: I'd like to formally apologize to my declining fan base for the general lack of output and enthusiasm here at avatarjack.com. I'm making pages on another section of the net, which has monopolized my time. This entry (as well as the last) is a near carbon copy of what was published on this other slice of net I'm vaguely referring to. I realize I've become a deadbeat dad blogger of sorts, so consider this one backed payment to be put towards diapers and formula. 

Also, those of you who think I've taken the sheers to the Unlikely Friendship of the Bee and Ant-- guess again. That magical tale of discovery and uncertainty will return soon enough. 

Today, on its sesquicentennial anniversary, let's all set aside a brief moment to reflect on the American Civil war. Let's ponder an America without this historic turning point, then quickly shift focus to a lighter subject, so as not to darken the day.

Considering their irreconcilable differences on a basic human rights issue, it was of surprise to none that the Confederates and Union waged war. Diplomacy was checked at the door and 700,000 casualties later, we stood as a slavery-free country-- at least legally.

In a world where opposing viewpoints coexist and slam together like colliding particles, it's a wonder we don't see more conflict; more war among civilians. Sure, there are countless civil wars going on around the world at this very moment, but I'm talking about right here in the Land of the Free. 

The untrained eye may see peace and harmony (or maybe that would be the blind eye), but a closer look will unearth the type of disagreement that leads to only one thing-- war.

Here are the three groups, within these States of Unity, that are most likely to lock horns in conflict, after existing in relative harmony for far too long. 

3. New Media vs. Old Media

The exponential growth of technology has widened the traditional gap between generations. Grandpa is still licking his index finger before turning the page of his jaundiced copy of Moby Dick, while his slick little grandson tornadoes through the world's information on his Ipad 2. 

Newspapers are well on their way to permanent extinction due to the informational access provided by our heroes of tech. This will anger paper mache aficionados, grumpy old men and newspaper editors alike, and may even incite a rush of violence against their attention deficient foes. 

Does the edge go to the New Media for their networking/organizational ability, or to the Old Media for their untapped rage created by their utter disgust for what the world has become?

2. Blue Collar vs. White Collar

Maybe America's working class has grown tired of the prosperity and occasional corruption of their starched shirt wearing, silk tie Double-Windsoring, hair parting and briefcase swinging counterparts.

Maybe America's upper crust has grown tired of the depressing nature and occasional laziness of their flannelly-fashioned, bolo-tie-for-special-event sporting, hard hat protected and lunch pail dragging counterparts. 

Working 40 standard hours-- plus 10 of OT at time and a half-- to earn what one CEO makes in a minute can certainly create a divide. Much of the anger will be coming from those wearing collars of blue, but the bosses are equally frustrated after years of fiscal sob stories and unwarranted promotion requests from their beat-up-Timberland wearing foot soldiers. 

3. Civil War Redux

As Civil War Commander-in-chief Abrahan Lincoln once proclaimed, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." Considering this country is split down the middle on almost every topic of note, I think it's safe to say we're divided. Abe isn't a name like Nostradamus, so we take his foreboding words with a grain of salt, but should we be salting this a bit more? 

We call ourselves the United States, but the unity aspect is under review. The inflexible nature of the donkeys and elephants has brought us dangerously close to a  government shutdown. Violent rhetoric reigns supreme as we debate whether gays should be allowed to wed. We continue to divide and weaken as lesser countries close the once-considered-insurmountable gap. 

I ask that we give peace a chance before dropping the gloves over any of these issues. Sure, we have our differences, but in the end, a civil society cannot exist  without civility. Buy your gramps an ipod shuffle, give your janitor a real tie, and put a flower in the gun of your Republican friend's 38-- do not let history repeat itself dear readers. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Government Shutdown: Who Will Seize Power

As the clock winds down on the most recent Government budgetary extension, we the people are left in a cloud of uncertainty. Sure, most of the White House windows will be boarded up, the Presidential fleet will be leased out to rap moguls, and President Obama will finally be able to cash in at an ultra-exclusive, white-shoe Wall Street firm--that's all obvious--but what about the rest of us? Who will govern while the Republicans and Democrats continue their display of world-class negotiating wizardry?

The old saying of When the cat's away, the mice will play could very well apply to this situation-- and boy are there some ruthless rodents out there just waiting to seize control of this once proud nation.

Take this as your warning-- a prognostication of sorts, not to create fear, but rather, to ensure domestic preparedness.

Ranked from least to most likely: Which oppressed group will assume control of the United States in the event of a Government shutdown?

3.) Hispanics

Our most recent census told us there are now 50 million Hispanics currently residing within the borders of these grand United States. Many have fled the war-torn nation of Mexico, and all are in pursuit of the American Dream-- the white picket fence, the 2.5 children, the dog named Bear (is it just me or does everyone either have a dog named Bear, or know someone who has a dog named Bear?). 

For many, this vision is consistently interrupted by the Grand Old Party, who apparently have the same effect as that dreaded "I'm falling out of the sky" dream-disturber. The relative short period of highly focused oppression could very well galvanize this demographic, and what better time to pounce than now-- there's blood in the water. It may only be a matter of time until Carlos Mencia is running point at 1600 Pennsylvania.

2.)Tea Party/Unemployed

First of all, I realize the title may be a little redundant, as it's safe to say the vast majority of the Tea Party is also unemployed; most of the public foolery and delusional ranting is taking place during traditional business hours. If I could attempt to correctly use "irony" in a sentence- it will be ironic if the Tea Party becomes the controlling institution, given their disdain for institutions in general (I think that works, if not let me have it in the comments section).

Their ability to efficiently organize will prove itself useful as they attempt to gain control of the world's second most powerful country (enjoy the show, China). Given their bigoted nature, a battle could very well ensue with the Hispanics as they make the mad dash towards executive power. In the end, both groups will weaken each other, allowing for a smooth takeover by our next group.

1.) Native Americans

The indigenous people of North America will load up on war paint, sharpen their arrows and go in for the complete role reversal once the US Government comes to a screeching halt. Their sacred soils were seized many moons ago, and while the casino's were certainly a nice consolation prize, it simply wasn't enough. I envision the Chief du jour offering Obama a bingo hall or two to run as a parting gift-- maybe even a stake in a Pueblo pottery 50/50 raffle.

In the end, maybe a change wont be so bad. Maybe a different style of governance is just what this country needs. I personally don't believe war is the answer-- Who wants to run the United States Government? would make for some compelling reality TV. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Unlikely Friendship of the Bee and the Ant

In my last entry I did my best Kodiak bear impression, as I dipped my paw in the waters in hopes of snatching up a fish or two. What transpired could easily be described as a feeding frenzy- the exact number of Salmon, Bigmouth Bass, and Long-Whiskered Catfish will not be disclosed, but I do feel compelled to note that the Chinese Talapia I reeled in has given me what appears to be Mercury poisoning. Don't celebrate just yet, Chairman Hu, I'm currently spinning this yarn from a Hazmat facility- and should be poison free within a week. While your assassination attempt has proven itself to be extremely nauseating, ultimately, it is to be classified as a misfire and waste of resources.

Hazmat-always there when you need them
While I do enjoy the occasional flood of traffic to the site, that's not what this personal vanity project is about. Those of you looking for coverage of the latest comings and goings of the world's most intriguing and controversial should seek refuge elsewhere- I'll remain here, painting pictures, covering site related issues, and most importantly keeping true to the values upon which AvatarJack.com (new streamlined URL!) was founded.

After careful review and study of the various markets, I've decided to install a running fictional aspect to the site. In a world of unrest, this will serve as a calming influence- an escape of sorts. Deep down I know this will likely result in mass reader exodus, essentially making this space my personal Microsoft Word document in the end- but when has that stopped me?

Please enjoy the opening act of what I'll call: The Unlikely Friendship of the Bee and the Ant.

From all available evidence, no bumblebee has ever left his colony to join that of a honeybee. I was told before arriving I would be viewed as just another member of the hive, an assuring message, but seemingly unlikely- I certainly have my doubts. Why me I wonder? My role with the other bumblebees seemed secure. My pollen transferring skills seemed to be on par with the rest; my buzz rather effective even.

I know they do not mean to be unkind; it may even prove to be a safer home for me- over the years I've sat in silence as my clan has been stepped on and flicked by the great Human for sport. Maybe I was viewed as cowardly, maybe that's the reason. Oh well, things should be different with the honeybees, a group marked by their fiercely loyal and protective nature, or so I'm told.

My exit did not garner much buzz (excuse my pun), which leaves me wondering just how real my stay with the colony has been. All the nest building, all the plant proliferation, had it all been simply about the bottom line? Were the supposed "good-times" but a mirage? As for my value, I wonder what the honeybees have offered up for my services. I guess that's a meaningless exercise at this point- new life, new hive. I've always been better off taking things one flower at a time anyway; pondering the bee hours of the rolling hills can be discouraging, I've learned.

I was told I wouldn't need to bring anything to my new home, but I figured why not load up a fresh batch of Chrysanthemum pollen before I left, after all, a bit of currency never hurt anyone and the road ahead was rather, well, uncertain.

Most of it blew off within the first few clicks of flight, but that's okay- hopefully it found a purpose somewhere. I was too nervous to worry about pollination at the time anyway. My thoughts now center around more pressing issues like, what value will I be able to add to my new family? Will they take me in as their own or will I be exploited for my relative mass and power? Maybe the time has come for the bumblebee and honeybee to unite, to establish a healthy working relationship, streamline operations and pollinate as one. Maybe that's why I'm being sent.

As I approached the land of the honeybee, or my new home I guess I should call it, I felt a strange sensation come upon me, unlike any I had felt in my previous two months of existence, and I came crashing to the ground. What came next I could never have imagined; my greatest fears and anxieties paled in comparison to what I would now face.
Take me to your leader

Friday, April 1, 2011

Operation Farewell April Fool

Fool not lest ye be fooled. 

I stand before you today as a broker of peace; a hat I'm never afraid to wear, although ideally it would remain on the rack, freshly starched with all stickers intact, brim perfectly flat.  I'd glance at the cap every now and again and wonder, "When's the next outbreak of animus, of senseless harm and carefully crafted absurdity?; when will I again hurl myself into the role of purveyor of peace?" I'd knock on wood of course, so as not to shift the currents.

Tap Tap Tap...Ahh, peace of mind
Is there anything more absurd than pursuing a wooden surface to slam your hand into after saying something that "tempts fate?" We've got important stuff to cover today so I hate to get sidetracked by hat and wood chatter, but the whole knock on wood thing has to go. Some of my international readers—UK, Egypt, India and Australia—refer to this maddening practice as "touching wood." They choose a more wood friendly approach, which is to be admired. I suggest the next time you feel the urge to touch or knock on a piece of wood, place your hand comfortably on the unfinished surface (sand down if necessary) and quickly accelerate your paw against the grain. This will result in a splinter or two, so have some disinfectant and gauze handy. This will also result in this foolish ritual eventually going the way of the Dodo.
Caw!!Caw!! Any sign of Knut?

Extinction, detailed plans leading to a handful of splinters, what's going on here? This post was intended to insure safety, but just the opposite has developed. Is that irony? Could be, though I'd hate to join the long scroll of names that consistently butcher the meaning of that literary device, so I'll just pose it as a question.

On a day where every hack prankster in the world dusts off the old "funny prank muscle" and embarks on a journey of of hoodwinking, I implore you to choose the road less traveled, my dear impressionable readers. Please allow me to mold you into men and women of honesty, of integrity, of justice. Consider this the creation of a neighborhood watch program of sorts. I'll be the CEO, my one reader in Hungary can be Executive VP, and that guy in Brazil who accidentally stumbled upon the site yesterday can be my administrative assistant (where's my coffee!!!!).

Just a tad more...that's all for now, thanks.

The mission is simple, so I'll keep the directive simple. Go outside (or stay indoors if you're not properly equipped), keep your head on a swivel (figuratively of course (or would that be literally given the range of the neck?)), target April's fooling fools, and strike up a conversation—choose diplomacy. You see the man letting the air out of his pal's tires? Say a little something like this: "Hello, care to explain what exactly you are doing here? Did you know this man has to be at work within the hour? Oh no? Well then what is this chat transcript I have here? And I quote, "Rodger, you're going to work soon, that's great buddy, have a nice day?" Do right by Rodger and fill those Michelins back up, please."

That's just one example, an example that will likely become a reality for one reader out there, given my worldwide following. For the rest of you simply maintain the major tenets of awareness, integrity, and honesty while correcting early April's most foolish behavior and good things should come... knock on wood.